31 Cups of Coffee–a Project

I have a confession to make.   First off, for anyone who is reading this but doesn’t know me personally, we have 5 children and we adopted the two youngest in 2004.   That means we started the process in the later part of 2002.   So we’ve been in this “world” for 14 years.

But back to my confession….. If I could describe me in 2002, I’d describe me this way, “Boy was I naïve!”  I thought I had this parenting thing down pretty well.   We had three kids, pretty well adjusted, well behaved and such.   I could handle two more – it would just be a little louder, a little busier but not a whole lot different.

Boy was I naïve!

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately and then the music group, “Mercy Me” came out with their hit song, “Dear Younger Me.”   I’m not taking any direct material from it, but their song was a guiding format that I decided to use to write a book.

I’m calling the book,  “31 Cups of Coffee – What I Wish My Younger Me Had Known About Adoption – a look back at the last 12 years of adoption.”   It’s going to be a series of informal “chats over coffee” about things I wish I had known.

Do I have it all written yet?   No I don’t.   As I write it, I’ll be posting on here brief overviews of the chapters.   If you want to known more about it and when it will be done – see that sign up form right next to this post?   Sign up there and I’ll keep you informed.

I’m not going to guarantee it, but I’m hoping to have it written and available in time for Christmas gifts this year.

One other thing for now – 20% of what I make on the book will go to the Education Fund at the Apparent Project.   The Education Fund is something I’m spending a lot of time working on during my work days and I believe it will make a huge difference in the lives of those who are working with The Apparent Project in an effort to keep their families together.

Keep in touch, tell others who might be interested and I’ll keep sharing information here about it too.


Tom V

Books, Covers and Stories

In light of everything that is going on these days – violence, protests, hurricanes, elections, charges, counter charges, lies, counter lies, it’s enough to make you sick…..

It’s also enough to make me think that my mother just might have been right.

At least once.  Smile

Okay, really, she’s been right a lot longer than that.   But what am I talking about this time?   I’m talking about when she would be refereeing a fight between my brothers and I and she’d say, “You know, there is more to the story than you’re telling me.”   (A nice way of saying, “You’re lying to me son……)

There’s more to the story.  The people who are yelling the loudest on social media about any issue – there’s more to their story.

There’s more to the story – the lady sitting by herself in church.  Why?

There’s more to the story – the kid who always has to be the loudest and the “first” at school – what drives that in him?

There’s more to the story – so give them a little extra leniency.

There’s more to the story – so if she misses work again, ask what might be happening.

There’s more to the story – so if someone is new to a school, give them grace and space about what might have happened at the past school.

There’s more to the story – so the news reports you are hearing just might not be telling the whole truth or even part of the truth.

I could go on for a very long time with examples but I think you get the picture.   All is not as it appears on the surface.   There are many deep issues and struggles running through much of your community.   Much of your family.  Much of your church.  Much of your kids school.

Be aware that it’s there.   Don’t feel like you need to know what it is.  

But knowing that it is there, ask yourself, what do you need for your struggles?

You need someone to sit with you, to be with you and to give you grace.

Go forward and give grace to those you meet.

Because there is more to the story.

I guarantee it.


Hurricane Matthew–the aftermath

A number of my friends and acquaintances who live and work in Haiti have posted videos and pictures of what the disaster zone in Southern Haiti looks like.   In an effort to help people remember that this is not an overnight disaster, I’m going to occasionally share them here.

The video below came from Michael Broyles with Mission Aviation Fellowship – www.maf.org.  Linda Brooks actually took the video.  

Livesay blog: Primum non nocere – First, do no harm

This showed up on my Facebook memories feed today.   Tara wrestles with hard issues and does it well.

I desire reform in the area of ethical practices that go above and beyond to protect vulnerable, materially poor, marginalized, and often times uneducated first mothers/families. Even if we cannot agree how that reform should be fleshed out, I hope we can agree reform that protects poor first families is needed and overdue.

Source: Livesay [Haiti] Weblog: Primum non nocere – First, do no harm